To extend the life of the hundreds of hours of content presented every year at Citrix Synergy, conference planners teamed up with Mediasite Events to power Citrix Synergy TV. By livestreaming the keynotes and breakout sessions, they turned the in-person event into an online, live and on-demand destination that lives beyond the conference.

“Hundreds of people, both inside and outside of Citrix, spend months and months developing the content for the event, and we wanted to give it more exposure and ensure that it lives on after the physical conference,” said Meri Summers, senior manager of corporate events at Citrix. “There are so many additional benefits for being there in person that you can’t get online, but we wanted to extend the reach of the content for anyone who couldn’t make it. It’s very valuable for us; our content is relevant beyond the actual show. We get a lot of viewership of keynotes and breakout sessions. And it’s a great tool to entice people to register for the conference next year.”

The Citrix Corporate Events team plans the annual conference that draws 5,500 customers, prospects, partners, industry influencers and more for three days of learning and networking. We had the chance to talk with Meri about one of the differentiators that makes the conference unique and long lasting – Citrix Synergy TV, powered by Mediasite.

The Mediasite Events team captures more than 100 conference sessions from 10 different rooms, and helps Citrix customize the online experience with a registration portal, live chat, a custom video portal and project management. Sessions are streamed live, and then updated to be available on demand, often the same day. Meri and her team are able to focus on the event, while the online component runs smoothly.

Read on for a look at what Meri has to say about Citrix Synergy TV.

Meri Summers headshot Jan 2017What is Citrix Synergy TV?

Citrix Synergy TV offers on-demand viewing of the keynotes as well as a selection of the top-rated breakout sessions. For example in the vision keynote, viewers are able to hear the Citrix vision for a future transformed by digital business. The technology keynote included information and demos of the exciting new technology that is powering the workspace of the future. Citrix Synergy TV also offers a deep look at Citrix solutions from the top-rated Synergy 2017 sessions, ranging from new features of XenApp and XenDesktop to the fastest way to deliver Windows apps from Azure to any device.

What is your team’s strategy for getting people to tune into Citrix Synergy TV and drive viewership to the streamed sessions before the event?

We always promote Citrix Synergy TV very heavily on social media and blog about it.

About a week prior to the event we’ll send an email to customers who aren’t registered and tell them we’ll be livestreaming. We also reach out to industry influencers who are not attending. This year we sent invitations for the keynotes, including a link to the sessions we’re live streaming, so they could add it to their Outlook calendar.

We also let the in-person attendees know so they can share the information with their colleagues since sometimes entire teams can’t attend an event. Typically they’ll send two people to the conference, however others on the team are interested in the information as well. So we make it easy for them to watch online.

How do the streamed sessions benefit in-person attendees?

A big reason for streaming is because we offer a lot of breakout sessions and you can only attend so many each day. Even if you’re attending in person it’s beneficial for you to visit Citrix Synergy TV to find all of the sessions your schedule didn’t allow you to attend. In general attendees find a lot of content they are interested in that they go back and watch.

What makes your live stream unique?

The keynote chat is really popular. We’re a global company and people log on from everywhere. They chat with each other, mention where they’re watching from and comment on the content.

We engage them with our online moderator who hosts the chat. She’ll welcome them before the keynote starts and stating that the presentation will start shortly. She also makes sure people behave online and don’t make inappropriate comments. Everyone who watches live is required to acknowledge a code of conduct.

Can you tell us about the online portal and publishing options?

Mediasite Events builds the content site to integrate with ours, so we’re technically taking viewers to a site with videos hosted by Mediasite that looks exactly the same as the conference site, including headers, footers, search filters and session layout.

We publish the videos to YouTube as well. Each year we have a Citrix Synergy playlist, and all the videos are published there.

In our marketing, we direct people to the Citrix Synergy site, but YouTube is a really good resource for organic traffic as people search for things. If people subscribe to the channel they will get alerts when we add new videos. We’re seeing good results from having the videos in those two places.

What is your strategy for opening content to the public?

The only time we gate the content is for the live streaming the week of the event. Post event it’s more about viewership. We want the most eyes on our content that we can have. We want to make it as easy as possible for customers and prospects to watch as much as they can watch. When you put up even a simple form people are sometimes hesitant to fill it out and you can lose viewership. And I just mentioned, all the content is available on YouTube.

How do you drive people to the content now that the conference is over?

We send emails to registered attendees, thanking them for coming, making sure they check out the videos on Citrix Synergy TV for sessions they may have missed or want to revisit, and we ask them to be sure to let their colleagues know this content is available. It allows us to share all of our great content with them and entice them to come back next year.

For those who didn’t attend, we email them pointing out the highlights of the conference on Synergy TV.

This year we’re continuing the conversation through the summer with a communication plan that references Citrix Synergy TV and other places where they can see Citrix. We have some shorter regional events called Synergy Unplugged that use Synergy content. Our social team continues to share the videos and the people that manage the Citrix product handles like NetScaler and XenDesktop share the links socially that pertain to their specific products.

All the links were shared with presenters so they can advertise their sessions whenever they want through their social networks. In 2016 the content had more than 100,000 views.

Check out the Citrix Synergy TV portal of on demand videos at http://live.citrixsynergy.com/2017/presentations.php.